Scientists seek to answer questions that nobody knows the answer to. Often, science classrooms solely focus on the information scientists have previously obtained at the expense of teaching students how to use the scientific process. My goal is to introduce students to this process by sharing with them the challenges and rewards of my research. I hope these activities allow students to see science in a new way. Pictured here are some hatchling Red Eared Sliders produced by fertile turtles!.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Turtle Life Part 4: Winter Months
You are a COLD baby turtle!
You and your sisters have hatched in your nest, and now position
yourselves with your tail down and your head up.Here, you wait.You still have some yolk attached to your
belly on the inside of your shell.This
yolk is all your nourishment until spring. As proceeds, leaves turn colors, then drop
off the trees above your nests.Days
grow shorter, nights grow longer, and winter approaches.The temperature inside your dark nest begin
to fall, your heart rate and metabolism really slow down. Snow that falls above the nest acts as an
insulating barrier to the cold.Still,
your shallow nest, and subsequently your own body temperature, drops below
freezing.Your body is specially adapted
to withstand subzero temperatures.Your
body can “supercool” which means it can stay unfrozen in temperatures below
freezing.Even if it gets colder, parts
of your body can freeze- mostly the liquid outside of your cells.You are one of the few vertebrate animals on
earth that can survive with your body temperature so cold.However, the winter is still a dangerous
time.If it drops too cold, you may not
be able to make it.However, all you can
do now is hope mom’s nest was in a place that is well enough insulated from the
cold, that you won’t freeze to death.You can’t wait for the spring
thaw and your first glimpse of daylight.